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Immigration/Refugee Information For Gays and Lesbians

Rainbow Railroad

We help LGBTQI+ people escape state-sponsored violence.

In countries around the world, LGBTQI+ people face violence and oppression simply because of who they love or who they are. We help get them to safety.

Rainbow Railroad Canada
401 Richmond, Street West, Suite 360, Toronto, ON M5V 3A8
Rainbow Railroad USA
424 West 54th Street New York, NY 10019

GLBT Refugees

UNHCR - The UN Refugee Agency

Nobody should be forced to flee their home for being who they are or loving who they love.

But LGBTI people can – and do – seek refugee status because they fear being persecuted based on their sexual orientation, gender identity, gender expression and/or sex characteristics. 

At UNHCR, we work to protect Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, Transgender and Intersex (LGBTI) refugees, asylum-seekers, stateless and internally displaced people.  

Immigration for Same-Sex Partners

As of May 17, 2017, twenty countries now allow citizens to sponsor their same-sex partners for immigration: Australia, Belgium, Bermuda, Brazil, Canada, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Iceland, Israel, the Netherlands, New Zealand, Norway, Portugal, South Africa, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland and the United Kingdom.

Note that this list is different than the list of countries that legally recognize same sex marriage.

The Immigrant's Creed

I believe in Almighty God, who guided the people in exile and in exodus, the God of Joseph in Egypt and Daniel in Babylon, the god of foreigners and immigrants.

I believe in Jesus Christ, a displaced Galilean, who was born away from his people and his home, who fled his country with his parents when his life was in danger, and returning to his own country suffered the oppression of the tyrant Pontius Pilate, the servant of a foreign power, who then was persecuted, beaten, and finally tortured, accused and condemned to death unjustly. But on the third day, this scorned Jesus rose from the dead, not as a foreigner but to offer us citizenship in heaven.

I believe in the Holy Spirit, the eternal immigrant from God's kingdom among us, who speaks all languages, lives in all countries, and reunites all races.

I believe that the church is the secure home for the foreigner and for all believers who constitute it, who speak the same language and have the same purpose.

I believe that the Communion of the Saints begins when we accept the diversity of the saints.

I believe in the forgiveness, which makes us all equal, and in the reconciliation, which identifies us more than does race, language or nationality.

I believe that in the Resurrection God will unite us as one people in which all are distinct and all are alike at the same time.

Beyond this world, I believe in Life Eternal in which no one will be an immigrant but all will be citizens of God's kingdom, which will never end. Amen.

Author: Jose Luis Casal, General Missioner
Tres Rios Presbytery of the Presbyterian Church USA

Immigration To Gay-Friendly Canada

Welcome To Canada where we don't care who you marry, so long as you both watch hockey

Canada has some of the most gay and lesbian friendly immigration laws in the world. Many gay, lesbian, bisexual, and transsexual/transgender singles and couples move to Canada every year to enjoy improved civil rights, benefits, and the protections of a tolerant society. Same-sex marriage is legal in Canada.

There are two primary ways to immigrate to Canada - being sponsored by your Canadian partner or applying to immigrate based on your own merit to obtain permanent resident status. Once you become a Canadian permanent resident (landed immigrant), you could apply for Canadian citizenship in three years.

A third way is to immigrate under Refuge status. Refugees and persons needing protection, are people in or outside Canada, who fear returning to their country of nationality or habitual residence. In keeping with its humanitarian tradition and international obligations, Canada provides protection to thousands of people every year.

Lesbian and Gay Immigration Task Force (LEGIT)

Canada To Assist Persecuted Gay Refugees - News Article March 24, 2011

Canadian Visa Immigration

Immigration and Citizenship Canada

Migration Expert - Free Canadian VISA Eligibility Assessment

Rainbow Railroad - We help LGBT people escape persecution and violence

Immigration To The USA

American Immigration - Citizenship, Green Card, Visas and Passport Applications

Immigration Equality - is a national organization fighting for equality under U.S. immigration law for lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender, and HIV-positive individuals. Founded in 1994 as the Lesbian and Gay Immigration Rights Task Force, Immigration Equality provides legal aid and advocacy for LGBT and HIV-positive immigrants and their families.

Out4Immigration - is an all-volunteer grassroots group that works to raise awareness about the discrimination same-sex binational couples face under current U.S. laws when trying to keep our families together. Same-sex binational couples are LGBT American citizens or permanent residents who are married to, in a civil union with or registered as a domestic partner with someone from another country. - A Guide to USCIS and the Process for Citizenship - Making Immigration & Naturalization Forms Easy

Immigration Direct - Forms Services - Simplifying Immigration - provides U.S. immigration news, informative blog and more. It is a "for profit" organization, not affiliated with, nor endorsed by any government agency and they do not answer legal questions. They help you complete your application quickly and accurately, and automatically generate all the forms you need for your application. Purchase price does not include any applicable government filing fees.

Joshua Alexander writes: I live in New York and am still in the immigration process myself so I know a lot about the immigration issues for LGBT.

The Defense of Marriage Act (DOMA) was ruled unconstitutional in 2013 which means the Federal government has to recognize same sex marriage and give all the same benefits that are given to heterosexual marriage.

It is now possible to immigrate here through same-sex marriage with some restrictions. The restrictions that apply to hetero marriage are also applied to same sex marriage plus the marriage has to take place in the States that recognize same sex marriage.

Another way to immigrate is through asylum based on sexual orientation (this includes transgender). Anyone who is already in the U.S. could contact Immigration Equality to find a pro-bono lawyer, but the waiting list is long and they don't just take any case of asylum (it's pro-bono so you can't complain). They are not a Christian organization but they are LGBT friendly.

Anyone in the New York area can also contact me for more Immigration support.